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GenZ is growing up in a world consumed with social media and further complicated by a global pandemic. This project was born out of being a witness in duality; a concerned mother juxtaposed with a curious photojournalist. With a refined humanist vision from my years in the field, I set out to document the most historical and influential moment in these young lives. By utilizing the nostalgia of a 4X5 large format camera, the mother in me focused on the shared conversation and connection while making portraits. Together, we created a platform where teens were able to reclaim agency and address the deep-rooted contemporary issues in America. Our collective lesson is to embrace the dualities of life, what seems to be the opposite is complementary. The balance of competing forces is what brings value to life.

Excerpts of photographed subjects’ ‘voices’ from the compilation poem, Gen Z

 

“Not every battle is for me to fight, and not every racial battle is for me to fight just because I am black or because I am African American. I’m clutching my hands right now, I’m suffocating. Another Police brutality, now Asian hate. I was born after 911. The fact that I never saw it coming makes me realize what else I won’t see coming in the future. Everything can change in less than a day, whether it’s for good or worse. One of the grocery store workers that got killed graduated from my High School in 2019. It made me realize I can’t get too comfortable.

I saw Dom’s face for the first time today, she’s so pretty.

I’m just kinda numb to everything, you know. Everything seems like a big deal so nothing is a big deal anymore.

I’ve learned that I have to accept certain changes.”